Situated at the centre of Khorog, the Park is located in a bend of the Gunt River, and includes a river promenade, a pond, a children's play area, a restaurant and teahouse, and an open-air theatre.
“Access to green spaces is clearly an important value for the residents of Khorog,” observed Mawlana Hazar Imam. He envisioned the Park as a place in which families would come together and spend quality time. It is to be “a place of continuity – playing an intimate role from the earliest weeks of a child's life until that child grows to become a grown-up with his or her own family.”
It is also “a park for all seasons,” he said, with “music and dance and other cultural events” in the open-air theatre, “swimming in the summer” and “skating in the winter.” It will transform itself “to capture the particular beauty of each particular time of the year.”
The land on which the Park is built was gifted to Mawlana Hazar Imam at the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his Imamat. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture consulted extensively with the people of Khorog to ensure its design would meet the local population's needs and reflect its aspirations. Construction and rehabilitation began in 2005 and was completed earlier this year.
“The development of Khorog City Park has been a cooperative response in many respects,” said Mawlana Hazar Imam. He added that it is “one of the earliest symbols of the processes of change for which I hope and pray in this region.” He described its inauguration is a prelude to further cooperative development projects between the Ismaili Imamat and authorities in Khorog and the wider region, citing progress in the Khorog campus of the University of Central Asia and the possibility of enhancing the capacity of the Khorog airport.
The ceremony was also attended by the Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, Qodiri Qosim, and the Governor of Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province, Alhaj Bazmuhammad Ahmadi. Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya, who accompanied Hazar Imam to Khorog were also present.
While in Khorog, Mawlana Hazar Imam also met with the Governor of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. Hazar Imam's visit to Khorog is part of a three-day visit to Tajikistan, during which he is also expected to preside over the inauguration of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe, and meet with senior government officials.